Thoughtful Commentary on Music

So, I went through all the effort of playing the game on Facebook where you, you know, turn on your iPod and list the songs that come on when you play random tunes, and then I was bored so I wrote some inane commentary, so I decided to post it here for the benefit of my mom, who has never heard of Facebook, but who has heard that the Cold War is over.

1. Rock ‘N’ Roll High School – The Ramones
“I just want to have some kicks/I just want to get some chicks.” No Nietzsche, no Kant, no Hegel, no Kierkegaard could have summed up high school so perfectly and so succinctly. None of those guys ever got any chicks, I bet. Especially Kant. He was always saying to chicks “I’d like to go out with you, but I Kant.” Thank you, thank you. I’m here every Monday.

2. Hell Is Chrome – Wilco
I think hell is probably more pleather than chrome. You walk in, you sit down on the pleather couch, and the devil makes you talk to an ugly chick in a pleather skirt. And while you’re enduring a stilted conversation about religion and politics, someone brings you some pleather Chex mix to gnaw on. Oh, and you’re wearing pleather underpants, and they chafe.

3. Turn It Up – Blur
By far the cooler of the British bands involved in the early- to mid-1990s psuedo-competition for the best Britpop band. The other band was Oasis, and while they had a decent album or two, the Gallagher brothers couldn’t stay sober for more than a song or two. It turned out that Oasis were the better football players, though, as they won a charity football match between the two bands in 1995 or 1996, I think. But the Gallagher brothers stole the cash meant for charity and spent it on Jimmy Beam.

4. That Was Your Mother – Paul Simon
I think Graceland is one of the better albums of our time. That, and maybe To the Extreme by Vanilla Ice. Whatever. You know you have it on your iPod.

5. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2
I can’t figure out why The Edge stopped wearing the sweet top hat he wore on all The Joshua Tree videos. If I was cool enough, I’d wear a top hat too, and I’d never take it off, except to pray and pull bunnies from it. But I’m not cool enough, so I stick to my yarmulke.

6. Brian Wilson – Barenaked Ladies
Any Canadian will tell you the Barenaked Ladies are Canadian. But they usually won’t claim Celine Dion. And their jaw drops in awe when you tell them Rush is also Canadian, because Rush is so completely and utterly awesome that nothing so awesome has ever been associated with Canada before, except seal hunting.

7. Andele – Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers
I was a big fan of The Refreshments back in the day, and I was really bummed when they broke up after just two albums. On a whim one day, I looked up Roger Clyne, their former lead singer, and found he formed a new band in 1998, just a year after The Refreshments went belly up. So I bought all their albums, and I’ve been satisfied. They mix southwestern bar room boogie with west Texas twang and lyrical genius to give us something so awesome that it is most appropriately listened to while seal hunting.

8. Diary – Bread
You can make fun of me for liking Bread if you want to, but if you can find a guy who knows more chords than David Gates I’ll buy you a Slim Jim. And superfly you like Randy Macho Man Savage.

9. Baby Don’t Know What To Do With Herself – Richard Thompson
I bought this album, having never heard of Richard Thompson, after Rolling Stone magazine gave it five stars. I wasn’t disappointed, not like I was when I bought that 4 Non Blondes album and it sucked rocks.

10. Deep Water – Jewel
I have a crush on Jewel. I can admit it. But my wife is way better for a lot of reasons, including the fact that her teeth are better than Jewel’s. I like this song, but I confess the line about making love to a wall is disturbing, to say the least. I mean, I know it’s metaphorical, but please woman, “wall” doesn’t even rhyme with “straw.”

11. Get On Out – Soul Asylum
I knew my musical tastes were different from other kids’ when I turned to this popular guy during 7th grade P.E. and said, “Hey, do you like Soul Asylum?” and he laughed at me threw the nerf balls extra hard at me during dodge ball.

12. To Have and Not to Hold – Madonna
This particular song licks, but I like Madonna. The whole Frozen album is really, really good. Still, I think Madonna needs to hang up the conical bras, you know? I mean, dude, she’s pushing 50, right? She should focus on trying to figure out if she’s Jewish or Buddhist or Catholic or whatever.

13. My Big Mouth – Oasis
Ah, good. Oasis showed up. You know, the more I think about it, the more I think Oasis sucks.

14. Brooklyn Roads – Neil Diamond
One of the top five song writers of our time. Say what you want. He wrote catchier songs than The Beatles, he wrote them more consistently than Elton John, and he didn’t get mixed up in disco like Abba. And that chest hair… so furry.

15. Beautiful Disaster – Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers
The song that Bruce Springsteen tried to write his whole life but never quite managed, though he came close on “Born to Run.” Sacrilege? Dude, this song wails.

16. Wendy Time – The Cure
Does anyone else think The Cure is really ugly? I mean, good music, but they’re pretty ugly guys/girls.

17. The Unforgettable Fire – U2
When I bought this album at Musicland in the mall, the guy at the counter looked at me over his stylish horn-rimmed glasses and said, “Aren’t you a little young to like early U2?” I was like, “Oh, this is U2? Nevermind. I was looking for Us3. I really like that song ‘Cataloop.’” Does anyone remember that song? It was cool at the same time as “Informer” by Snow and “I’d Do Anything For Love” by Meatloaf. Man, that was a bad year.

18. Brothers On a Hotel Bed – Death Cab For Cutie
I know it’s not hip to like Death Cab since they sold out three or four years ago and decided to try to make money instead of lose it, but I still think they write really, really good songs. And now their albums no longer sound like they were recorded on a karaoke machine.

19. Straight Jacket Labels – Revis
I’ve never heard this song. I can’t remember where I got it. Who the crap is Revis?

20. It Must Be Summer – Fountains of Wayne
“The sun is beating me senseless/I feel defenseless, like a dying lamb/I don’t want to lie by the oceanside/Don’t want to play in the sand/Can’t you understand?” Genius.

21. Luna – Smashing Pumpkins
Whenever my wife hears Smashing Pumpkins, she looks at me with a pained expression and says something like, “Man, that guy’s voice really sucks, right? I mean, listen to it.” And, though I try to defend my man Billy Corgan because he was such a towering figure of teen angst in the mid-90s, she’s right. He really doesn’t sing very well. And he was pretty ugly too. But that describes me, too, and she likes me, so she should like Billy Corgan too. Who can withstand such airtight reasoning and logic?

22. Harbour – Moby
I like how Moby knows he can’t sing, so he hires other people to sing his songs while he, uh, pushes “play” on the backing track. When I first heard this song, I said to myself, “Hey, Joey, that sounds a lot like Sinead O’Conner.” And so I looked it up and I was right. And then I kind of sat there and felt satisfied.

23. Thursday – Morphine
One of the few songs I know of driven my a distorted saxophone and a three-stringed bass. Whenver I see a motel called “The Wagon Wheel” (and you’d be surprised at how many actually exist in small towns called “Pleasant Something-or-other”) I think of this song. And then I feel kind of dirty because the song’s about infidelity. So I listen to Barry Manilow to clean myself off.

24. Highway Song – Blackfoot
I smell pot smoke whenever I hear this song. It’s like it generates its own cloud of the pungent aroma of ganja.

25. Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
I’m still trying, 11 years later, to figure out why this song is called “Iris." They don't even say it in the song. They don't even think it during the song. Unrelated thought, but does anyone remember the Nintendo game “Kid Icarus?” Man, that was good stuff.